The next stop is Pittsburgh. The Browns should be 2-0 instead of 1-1, but they have a chance to get back to winning on a short week when they play the Steelers without T.J. Watt in a key early-season AFC North game.
1> Don’t be hard on yourself.
No matter if we’re talking about turnovers, mistakes on special teams, back-breaking penalties, or missed coverages on defense, the Browns will beat the Steelers tonight if they do their jobs. Pittsburgh’s offense is having a hard time, and when T.J. Watt isn’t playing, they are 0-5 all-time. The Browns should be 2-0 with two easy wins, but they are only 1-1. They can only blame themselves. So, the Browns will beat the Steelers and move to 2-1 if they can fix those mistakes and not lose to themselves.
2> Pass the ball
The Browns have run the ball the most in the NFL through two weeks, averaging 200.5 yards per game. The Browns are getting 5.1 yards per carrying, and they have already scored four touchdowns by running the ball. There are only seven players in the NFL who have run for more than 100 yards and scored two or more touchdowns. Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are two of those who play for the Browns.
The Patriots ran all over the Steelers last week. Their running backs ran 24 times for 118 yards (4.9 yards per carrying) and a touchdown. The Patriots averaged a huge 5.8 yards per carrying when running outside of the tackles, which was where they were especially good. Nick Chubb leads the NFL in rushing yards (3,791), yards per carrying (5.8), and rushing touchdowns (28) on runs outside the tackles since he joined the league in 2018. With Watt out, the Browns can use their punishing ground game to go after the Steelers’ smaller edge defenders.
Also, the Browns have won 19 of their last 26 games in which they ran for at least 100 yards, so this is a very good way to win. Also, keep an eye on whether or not the Browns can run for 180 yards tonight. If they do, it will be the first time since Jim Brown carried the ball in 1957 that they have run for 180 yards or more in four straight games.
3> Coverage and pressure that are tight Trubisky
Even though they have a lot of talent at wide receiver, the Steelers are currently averaging 4.8 yards per pass attempt, which is the worst in the NFL. A big reason for this is that behind the weak Steelers offensive line, Mitch Trubisky often checks down and throws the ball away as quickly as possible.
This year, 33 of the 43 passes that Trubisky has completed have been within nine yards of the line of scrimmage. So the Browns should be able to stop this weak passing attack if they play tight and expect the ball to be thrown quickly. They might even be able to get their hands on the ball and make a game-changing interception.
This year, Trubisky also had trouble when he was in trouble. When he is under pressure, he only completes 29% of his passes and averages only 4.0 yards per pass attempt, giving him a quarterback rating of 63. Without Jadeveon Clowney, young ends Alex Wright, Isaac Rochell, and Isaiah Thomas has to step up and help Myles Garrett and Taven Bryan get after the quarterback.
DC Joe Woods is also thinking about blitzing Trubisky, who only completes 33% of his passes, averages 3.9 yards per attempt, and has a 68 rating when blitzed. On a cold night on the lake, let’s turn up the heat and get a big win for the Browns.